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What are Decorative Pillow Covers?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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Decorative pillow covers fit on top of accent pillows to add color and/or pattern to a living space. They may be made from many different types of materials such as fabric, yarn, or leather. Decorative pillow covers can add interest to many areas in the home and garden such as the living room, family room, bedroom or patio.

Water-resistant fabrics are used to make durable decorative pillow covers for outdoor use. With so many people turning their decks and patios into comfortable outdoor living spaces, decorative throw pillows are popular accents for furniture such as Adirondack chairs and chaise lounges. An Adirondack chair is a classic wooden outdoor armchair that may have a slanted seat. A chaise lounge is almost like an elegant small bed or cot and may have a backrest or be backless.

A few throw pillows near the head of a bed can really liven up bedroom decor. For example, if the bedroom is decorated in mostly solid or neutral colors, a few pillow covers in a eye-catching pattern can create a much needed focal point in the room. A focal point in design can be anything that draws the eye to it. Throw pillows don’t have to be square, as round or heart-shaped pillows may look elegant in a bedroom. Roll-shaped cushions are popular for beds and lace decorative pillow covers may top these types of pillows.

For a family room, decorative pillow covers in family-friendly rugged materials such as cut velvet, denim or corduroy tend to work well. The types of pillow covers that can be removed for washing are a good idea for family rooms. Decorative pillow covers that blend with the cat or dog’s coat color may make shed animal hair less noticeable.

An arrangement of throw pillows on a living room sofa can add a lot of style to the décor. The possibilities in colors and types of decorative pillow covers are endless. Elegant or rustic materials can be used for living room pillow covers depending on the style of the room. Decorative pillow covers that contrast with sofa or chair colors may look especially appealing.

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Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On Nov 25, 2014

When my great-aunt passed away, my mom was asked to go through the house and help sort things. She found a linen closet full of small pillows. Many of them had zippered covers.

You can't imagine how we laughed and laughed when we started unzipping those covers and found different ones underneath. She apparently had never washed them. She just made new zippered covers to fit over the old ones. It was a trip through the decorating ages and we laughed until we cried at the fabrics and patterns she chose. She was a character, and it was so appropriate to find all those covers over more covers. We had the best time looking at all those fabrics and trying to figure out how old they were.

By Pippinwhite — On Nov 24, 2014

Honestly, I've never been much interested in having decorative pillows everywhere. I have two on my sofa, and that's it. I've never had the big, made-up bed with the coordinating comforter, bedskirt and pillow shams. That's entirely too much trouble.

Decorative pillow covers should definitely be washable. Unless someone is absolutely vigilant about keeping them off the floor, and away from the kids and pets, they're going to get dirty and they will need to be washed. If they're on a sofa, it's inevitable that something will get spilled on them, and they will have to be washed if you want to keep the pillow.

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